#RejectedSermonTitles : this week Song of Solomon is about #Sex

Why is Song of Solomon in the Bible?
Seriously, what is with the Bible having a book that is written by a human to a human being?

(There used to be a Jesus as the Bridegroom and Church as the Bride interp. but its frankly sexist and old fashioned)

Here are two people expressing love for one another. At one point I spent a seminary class translating and interpreting the text, and like Shakespeare the more you study it the more you understand the physical attraction in the text.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7
0 My beloved speaks and says to me:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
11 for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle-dove
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
7 Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
all the wealth of one’s house,
it would be utterly scorned.

This is because, love is such an all encompassing thing, a part of it is physical, so I think its important that those words are a part of the body. Love is intense, its more than the cutesy-niceness of life. Little pink hearts and precious moments angels are not what the Bible is about. Angels, love-beings, are so intense that they have to tell us mere humans “fear not” every time they appear. (Cupid and Psyche is a much more accurate portrayal in my mind).

I also think that Song of Solomon is included because Love is one of the human languages, one of those experiences we try to describe again and again.

Love Songs are amazing that way. They always have been written, from the time of Song of Solomon, and each of us prob. experienced a love song that “got it.” (ex: Breaking Up is Hard to Do) A love song that was perfect for what we are experiencing. Love songs will always exist, because love opens us to see the world in a new way. (Fill the world with Silly Love Songs)

It is here that we begin to see the strength and power of love that can withstand fire and water. Love opens us up to be changed. It is the thing we hang onto, but also that which holds onto us when all else fails.

Love allows us to be melded, and every relationship we enter into holds that potential for change.

Anger and hatred, not so much. When I’m angry or hate-filled I cannot hear the other person, I cannot change my mind. There are times, when I’m arguing something that I realized mid-arguement that I am wrong, but at that moment I can’t let go of my argument, because I’m too angry to be wrong, I have to win. Its not about love or being right, its about winning.

Its for this reason when I’m at a contentious session or Presbytery meeting we pause for prayer. We stop everything (which is really hard, because everyone wants to finish their thought) and pray. We focus on God, love and community, we remember that its NOT about winning, and we are then more open to have a real, listening conversation. (and that folks is the true power of prayer). Love opens us up.

And here, in Church, we strive to be in relationship with every single person in this room. We open ourselves to be changed here, with these people. We are doing it not for money, not to feel good, not to be fit or healthy or popular. We do it, because love opens our eyes and is just that powerful.  (Theme Song: The Power of Love). We do it to follow Jesus, and that openness to be relationships changes our lives.

Its not safe…

There has been an unspoken understanding that the church parking lot is fair game in the neighborhood. Recently people have been throwing trash in our dumpster to move and advertising free parking with the house that was on the market, re: our parking lot.

Maybe we should have a sign like this——>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

We have left notes and had conversations (Mostly in which the drivers were angry with us) about the fact that as the church increases our activity it is harder for us to let them park, especially since we have signs all over saying its illegal anyway (and I really don’t want to tow anyone to get my point across) I’ve been struggling about what to do with this, on the one hand it feels like we have been taken advantage of, on the other hand I want to practice Grace.

Grace is not safe. It is not an easy or even “nice” course. Grace is dangerous, its opening up your vulnerabilities and allowing others to be vulnerable too. How? Grace is giving space to another. Space for them to live into themselves, and there is a cost.

God is the God of grace because she created a space within herself in order to create us (Moltmann does a good job of describing this). God created space separate from Godself in order to create us, her children.

Grace is giving space to people who you don’t want to give space so and forming relationships AS you give them that space. Its acknowledging that everyone is human and broken
Sidenote: My church going to see Les Mis and discuss grace, but here is (I think) the point “Grace making bad guys into Good Guys and Good Guys into heroes since the beginning of time”–Katy Stenta

So what am I going to do about the people who are taking up space in our parking lot? I think maybe I’ll go over, tell them that I’ve noticed that they have parked in our lot and invite them to church…